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UCI Science Library at night with Library Excellence in Access and Diversity LEAD Award logo
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UCI Libraries Receives 2024 Library Excellence in Access and Diversity (LEAD) Award

News Date
January 12, 2024
By Cheryl Baltes

Insight Into Diversity magazine’s LEAD Award recognizes UCI Libraries for making a difference for underrepresented groups.

UCI Libraries has received the 2024 Library Excellence in Access and Diversity (LEAD) Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The LEAD Award honors academic libraries’ programs and initiatives that encourage and support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across their campuses. 

LEAD Award

Of the nearly 150 academic libraries who applied, 56 were honored with Insight Into Diversity magazine’s inaugural award. Known as the leader in advancing best practices in DEI through its website and print magazine, Insight will feature all the LEAD Award recipients in the March 2024 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine. 

“We know that many academic libraries are not always recognized for their dedication to diversity, inclusion, and access,” said Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of Insight Into Diversity magazine. “We are proud to honor these college and university libraries as role models for other institutions of higher education.”

DEI Within UCI Libraries

As part of ongoing efforts to serve UCI’s diverse campus and surrounding community, the Libraries seek to create a welcoming and inclusive environment through its collections, resources, and initiatives. University Librarian Lorelei Tanji credits the incredible Libraries’ team of librarians and staff for their work on a number of key projects and initiatives:

  • Diverse collections: Regularly audit UCI Libraries’ collection through a diversity lens and augment collections to address gaps. Such efforts seek to collect and preserve stories of historically underrepresented populations to support current and future research efforts. 
  • Accessible materials: Address accessibility challenges by providing remote access to special collections and archives when researchers cannot visit in person as well as by paging materials or, when possible, providing them in alternate formats. The Libraries also maintain a variety of Research Guides to help researchers and students locate and access library resources in all formats.
  • Assistive technology: Offer the Morphic tool, an assistive technology (AT) tool that helps individuals easily find and use a PC’s built-in accessibility features, on all Libraries’ public computers as well as a host of AT equipment and software on workstations within Langson Library, Science Library, and the Grunigen Medical Library on the UCI Medical Campus in Orange. Learn more about AT available by visiting the Libraries Accessibility Services and Resources webpage
  • Scholarly communication: In partnership with experts throughout the University of California system, provide guidance, advice, and resources to help researchers, authors, and other stakeholders to navigate complex issues around the lack of DEI in scholarly communication.
  • Research support: Provide expert research consultation and assistance, including librarians with specific liaison responsibilities for East Asian studies, African American studies, Asian American studies, Gender and Sexuality studies, and Chicano/Latino studies, and the Libraries’ Orange County Regional History Collection and Southeast Asian Archive.
  • Community-centered archives: Take a leadership role in advancing community-centered archiving, which supports diverse communities’ efforts to create and preserve their own histories and emphasizes ethical and responsible representation of marginalized histories in collections. Supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Libraries’ Community-Centered Archives Practice: Transforming Education, Archives, and Community History (C-CAP TEACH) Initiative provides student training in community archives projects and aims to build a wider network of broad community-centered access to and representation of community histories on a national scale.

Tanji explained these programs and initiatives are but a part of UCI’s commitment to DEIA, from top to bottom.

“Advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility is an integral part of the mission, values, and strategic goals of both UCI Libraries and the entire UCI campus,” said Tanji. “We are honored to have our efforts recognized with the LEAD Award.”


For more information about Insight Into Diversity magazine and its 2024 LEAD Award, visit insightintodiversity.com